We all have days when we are down, worn out and do not feel happy at all. It’s normal to be depressed, or to feel sad when you experience a major disaster or suffer a severe loss. However, if these feelings of sadness, despair and hopelessness persist beyond two weeks, they could be considered symptoms of depression, and should be addressed at the earliest.
Symptoms of depression
1 Persistent sadness and anxiety
2 Loss of appetite and weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
3 Lack of sleep or difficulty in sleeping
4 Restlessness or irritability
5 Feelings of worthlessness, unjustified guilt and helplessness
6 Difficulty in thinking clearly, concentrating, remembering things or making decisions
7 Loss of interest in day-to-day activities
8 Withdrawal from social situations, family and friends
Causes of depression
Nutrition plays a vital role in the onset, severity, and duration of depression — including daily mood swings. Researchers believe that depression is actually one of the early signs of nutritional depletion. While there is a strong genetic component that makes a person prone to depression, poor food choices, high levels of stress, alcohol abuse, lack of exercise and excess caffeine consumption also significantly contribute to the onset of depression.
Read: Eating a lot of fish can protect you against depression
You could also be depressed if you are anaemic, have low blood sugar, suffer from premenstrual tension and have hormonal imbalances. Certain eating habits such as skipping meals, not having a nutritionally balanced diet, poor appetite, and a desire for sweets make one prone to the symptoms too. Depression is also linked to the lack of certain vitamins, especially Vitamin B, which is essential for the functioning of our nervous system
Tips to beat depression
1 Begin your day with eggs, whole wheat bread and a glass of vegetable juice. Have a bowl of dal soup with lots of chopped veggies
2 Avoid sugar, fried foods, maida, canned foods and soft drinks, they are toxic
3 Reduce alcohol, coffee and tobacco intake as they increase internal stress
4 Increase your protein intake as it helps in building neurotransmitters
5 Spend quality time with loved ones, and develop a solid support system
6 Indulge in stress-busting activities such as dancing, reading or painting. Learn to relax through yoga and meditation.